The pancreas is located posterior to the abdomen. It contains cells that secrete the hormone insulin, and cells that secrete digestive enzymes that aid in the breakdown of food in the gastrointestinal tract. The pancreas secretes these enzymes into the pancreatic duct, which joins the common bile duct from the liver and drains into the small intestine.
Update Date 1/27/2012
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.